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Understand the impact of social media on your company

Whether you use social media platforms to promote your contracting business or not, you need to be aware of the many different ways that these sites can affect your business. For good or for ill, social media is a powerful force to manage.

In the aftermath of a construction debacle like the collapse of the Hard Rock Hotel in New Orleans or the pedestrian bridge at Florida International University, images captured in the moment of or seconds after the disaster can flood the internet and go viral.

There is no way to purge these images and videos from the news cycle if your company is involved in a major disaster. But how you act and react when your company is plastered all over social media can be managed.

This means that either you or a person you designate as your media contact is able to respond quickly and control the communication of information to the news media. Crisis communication skills are vital today in a world dominated by social media.

One expert in the field advises to have in place a comprehensive emergency action plan that includes "communication protocol[s] and process[es] for responding to media inquiries." Depending on the type of crisis you are experiencing, your designated spokesperson may need to be "determined on a case-by-case basis," she said.

Another expert urges his clients to respond within the first 45 minutes with an initial statement that allows them to "set the record straight."Your Florida construction law attorney can provide legal guidance with the wording of any statement that gets issued to avoid making misleading statements that could increase liability for you or your company.

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